View Full Version : John Donne's Self-Love.... can anyone help?

03-04-2007, 02:22 PM
Hi, I was wondering if anyone could spare the time to explain the deeper meaning of this poem. I've spent hours surfing the net and had no joy. Any help would be gladly appreciated. Thanx.

10-25-2007, 02:37 AM
HE that cannot choose but love,
And strives against it still,
Never shall my fancy move,
For he loves against his will ;

(Some people are moved against their will to love someone which they cannot or shouldn't. They try to free themselves of that, but can't: he won't be moved by their plight.)

Nor he which is all his own,
And cannot pleasure choose ;
When I am caught he can be gone,
And when he list refuse ;

(He won't be moved either by someone who would be such an egotistical git).

Nor he that loves none but fair,
For such by all are sought ;
Nor he that can for foul ones care,
For his judgement then is nought ;

(He despises those that are interested only by handsome others, and equally those who are interested only in ugly persons).)

Nor he that hath wit, for he
Will make me his jest or slave ;
Nor a fool when others
He can neither

(Same for those who are only into brilliant minded attitudes, or foolish).

Nor he that still his mistress prays,
For she is thrall'd therefore ;
Nor he that pays, not, for he says
Within, she's worth no more.

(That's clear: those who pay for sex have in their heart the idea that the person is worth no more than the money given).

Is there then no kind of men
Whom I may freely prove?
I will vent that humour then
In mine own self-love.

(Considering that no one is truly worth his friendship, he'll be content of liking himself).